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Troy Wayman

One Acadiana kicked off a five-year campaign Wednesday aimed at bringing new businesses and expanding opportunities across the region.

The regional chamber launched “Impact – The Campaign for One Acadiana” during a gathering at M.L. Tigue Moore Field at Russo Park. The effort is its second five-year, $15 million campaign to make the region a sought-aftrer location for emerging businesses and employees.

Focus areas include attracting and retaining high-paying jobs, ensuring regional infrastructure improvements, strengthening the local workforce and attracting skilled talent, enhancing the quality of place and business environment and connecting and supporting local and regional businesses.

The plan builds on the organization’s current program that was adopted in 2014 that led to $479 million in new capital investment, 2,029 new jobs, 589 retained jobs and $60 million in new annual payroll. It also helped secure $465 million in infrastructure improvements.

So far, they've raised about $10.4 million, One Acadiana president and CEO Troy Wayman said at the kickoff.

“The results of the past five years demonstrate that continued investment in a bold, ambitious program of work is paying off for the region,” Wayman said. “The challenges before us — fostering sustainable economic growth, revitalizing our region’s core, and driving transformational change in workforce development — often seem entrenched but, thanks to the support of 1A investors and the regional business community, we are well-positioned to build on past successes and achieve future results.”

Wayman outlined the goals for the next five years during Wednesday’s meeting along with Secretary Don Pierson of Louisiana Economic Development, Steven Hebert of the Billeaud Companies and SLCC chancellor Natalie Harder.

The organization also named general chairs for the campaign, an honorary campaign cabinet, and campaign cabinet division chairs. Chairmen include:

  • David Callecod, President & CEO, Lafayette General Health
  • Al Gonsoulin, Chairman & CEO, PHI Inc.
  • Lenny Lemoine, CEO, The Lemoine Company
  • Kip Schumacher, Executive Chairman, SCP Health
  • Matt Stuller, Chairman & CEO, Stuller, Inc.
  • Richard Zuschlag, Chairman & CEO, Acadian Companies

Honorary campaign cabinet include:

  • Julie Dronet, Retired, Vice President, Cox Acadiana
  • Paul Durand, Retired, CEO, St. Martin Bank
  • Bill Fenstermaker, Chairman & CEO, FENSTERMAKER
  • Gregg Gothreaux, President & CEO, Lafayette Economic Development Authority
  • Natalie Harder, Chancellor, South Louisiana Community College
  • Frank Neuner, Founder, Managing Partner, NeunerPate
  • Joel Robideaux, Mayor-President, Lafayette Consolidated Government
  • Joseph Savoie, President, University of Louisiana at Lafayette

Campaign Cabinet division chairs include:

  • Blaise Zuschlag, Chief of Staff, Acadian Ambulance
  • Sue Durand, President/CEO/Chairman, Washington State Bank
  • Katie Chiasson, Senior Business Developer, CLECO
  • Buffy Domingue, CEO, Lafayette Surgical Specialty Hospital
  • Anita Fontenot, President, Southwest Fidelity Corporation
  • Coatney Raymond, Managing Partner, Buck & Johnny’s

“One Acadiana has become a driving force for our nine-parish region. Over the last five years, we have made significant strides in defining the organization and scope of work,” said Iva Lee Clement, 1A’s 2019 Board Chair and Vice President of Governmental Affairs at SCP Health. “Through the business community’s investment, our impact and influence will continue to make our region a destination for new business and talent.”

One Acadiana is also seeking regional community leaders and investors that share in the vision of economic growth and prosperity. Those interested can contact executive assistant Millicent Nugent at millicent@oneacadiana.org.

Acadiana Business Today: One Acadiana kicks off five-year campaign to bring new businesses, expand opportunities for region; New police precinct coming to downtown Lafayette by end of the year

Email Adam Daigle at adaigle@theadvocate.com.